Boost for hungry pupils

FEED THE FUTURE: Madakeni Primary School pupil, Bahle Nocuza working alongside local Woolworths employees preparing new beds in the school’s food garden for planting vegetable seedlings. Picture: JASON FREDERICKS

Madakeni Primary School near King William’s Town received a much-needed boost from Woolworths as they commemorated World Food Day last Wednesday.

Woolworths employees from the Buffalo City Metro area rolled up their sleeves and helped the pupils plant crops in the schools’ food garden.

Madakeni principal Mmeleni Mndi said the donation had a positive impact on the 228 pupils, some of whom came from impoverished homes.

“The vegetable seedlings, fruit trees and garden tools will help us feed the pupils who almost all live below the breadline and only make ends meet through the child support grant given by the state,” Mndi said.

World Food Day is observed annually on October 16 and is dedicated to tackling global hunger.

As part of the Woolworths Employee Community Involvement Programme, store employees are volunteering at ten schools across the country to recognise the importance of local, sustainably-produced, good food and help them take their food gardens to the next level.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to go out into our community, join the kids in getting our hands dirty and learn all about permaculture food gardening, while helping to expand the garden and boost their school’s sustainable food production,”  Woolworths KWT store manager Mbulelo Morris said.

Woolworths has partnered with the EduPlant Programme for the last 15 years and has been the main funder of the programme with a contribution of R36.6m to date.

“The World Food Day Volunteer Day creates an opportunity for colleagues at Woolies stores around the country to take action and make a difference in their communities,” Woolworths corporate affairs director Zinzi Mgolodela said.

EduPlant is initiated and managed by Food & Trees for Africa and is SA’s leading food gardening programme.

Since its inception in 1990, it has facilitated more than 770 permaculture food gardening workshops, reaching more than 61,000 educators across thousands of schools.

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